SurveyMonkey: A $2 Billion Free Online Survey Market Pioneer

SurveyMonkey is the world’s most popular free online survey tool. Founded in 1999, the cloud-based software-as-a-service company was most recently valued at $2 billion and counts high-profile executives such as Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg among its advisers.

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Unlike many of its peers in the software space, the 19-year-old polling company has been profitable almost since day one. Based in Palo Alto, Calif., the company employs over 650 people throughout the United States, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, according to Inc. In its near two-decade long history, the firm has survived at least two market pullbacks that have tested some of Silicon Valley’s highest-flying Internet businesses.

SurveyMonkey processes over 3 million survey responses every day, in hopes to revolutionize the way people give and take feedback, while making it accessible, easy and affordable for everyone to collect such information. The firm lists 99% of the Fortune 500 as customers, as well as academic institutions, and a wide range of organizations including “neighborhood soccer leagues everywhere,” according to the firm’s profile on Crunchbase.

In its last known fundraising round in 2014, the company raised $250 million. Crunchbase estimates its total capital raised at $1.14 billion, inclusive of debt.

SurveyMonkey is head by Zander Lurie, who has been a member of the company’s board of directors since 2009. Before taking on the role of CEO in 2016, he was Senior Vice President of Entertainment at action camera maker GoPro and has held various other leadership roles at companies including CBS Corp., CNET Networks and JPMorgan Chase & Co. Lurie took over for Bill Veghte, who had taken on the position after founder Dave Goldberg, Sandberg’s late husband, passed away in 2015.

In January, news broke that the software provider was planning to hit the public market this year, as first reported by Recode, citing people familiar with the company’s plans. While the firm has not issued a comment on its plans, a public offering would be one of the most closely watched of 2018, among a wave of tech unicorn IPOs including that of Dropbox, Box, Spotify and Pivotal Software.